Roadworks cause Wigan gridlock

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WIGAN traffic has been brought to a standstill after engineers ignored restrictions made to keep disruption to a minimum.

Motorists have been stuck in long queues of up to an hour since Monday as Electricity North West moved a potentially hazardous high voltage cable in Whelley.

As temporary traffic lights were in place, the roads were gridlocked which caused buses on a variety of routes to be delayed.

But council engineers say that Electricity North West had breached its conditions as it did not man the signals at all times as requested.

A spokesman for Wigan Council’s highways department said: “Granting Electricty North West permission to work in that area was done with considerable dialogue, including certain conditions that we set in order for that work to take place.

“We wanted them to carry out the work in the half-term holidays but they insisted that it was too dangerous to wait until then and with public safety in mind we reluctantly agreed to allow them to do the work this week.

“One of the conditions we placed on them was that they have a person manning the temporary signals at all times and not just during peak. This did not happen on Monday which caused added problems and so the council has issued them with a fine for breaching the permit.”

A spokesman for Electricity North West said: “We have put in place temporary traffic lights on Wigan Road in Whelley in order for our engineers to safely divert underground electricity cables.

“The work is essential to ensure local customers receive a reliable power supply to their homes and businesses. Unfortunately there is no way to install underground cables without some disruption, but the temporary traffic lights will be manned between 7am and 6pm.

“We hope drivers and residents in the area understand the need for this essential project and if anyone would like any further information they can contact us on 0800 195 4141.”